Oh yes, it is! Again, is keeping significant distance from negative people and getting rid of toxic friends #SelfLove? Well, it is! However, this is superficial #SelfLove, you see, #SelfLove goes deeper, it gets more serious than this. Your body is well engineered to take care of itself. It can get rid of toxins by itself and make sure you keep #Slaying. How is this possible? Through the kidneys, that is how it is possible.

2-6 September 2017 is national kidney awareness week. A kidney is an organ found at the back of the abdominal cavity that is responsible for removing toxins from the blood (Body internal environment) to be discarded into the external environment. Humans are born with a pair of kidneys. However, the reality is that they may fail. What then?

Dr Mohammed Variava [MBBCh (Wits) FCP (SA) MMed (Wits) Cert Nephro (Phys)] is a nephrologist who is joining us on this month’s #MjojoLivity issue and will be unpacking the signs of kidney failure and the treatment thereafter, and I managed to get a general checkup. Oh wait, he is married to Dr Firdous Variava who featured on last month’s #MjojoLivity. Yah neh! These are inspirational #RelationshipGoals. Levels! I am telling you.

Keep calm, this is not a love story. We are discussing kidney failure and treatment. Dr Mohammed Variava explained that kidney failure has two main stages which are: acute (short term) and chronic (long term). Kidney failure is a process where kidneys are unable to filter toxins from the blood stream to be discarded from the body through urine.

Dr M Variava indicated that persons presenting with the following progressive symptoms have kidney failure.

• Raised creatinine levels (waste product from muscle breakdown)

• Experiencing these uremic symptoms (Urea is a product of protein metabolism in our bodies); vomiting, unexplained bleeding, encephalopathy,

• Increased Potassium.

• Refractory Body fluid imbalance.

• Anuria (inability of the body to produce urine).

Kidney failure can be caused by diseases such as hypertension, cancer and diabetes. Other causes may arise from medication overuse in the following classifications: antibiotics, pain medication, contrast dye used in imaging radiology studies.

Should one be diagnosed with kidney failure and all possible medical attempts fail to salvage the kidneys, the available options would be hemodialysis/peritoneal dialysis, kidney transplant or death, OMG! Did I give you a shiver down the spine? “Hemodialysis is the process of purifying blood artificially,” says DR M Variava. “Hemodialysis however is not the cure for kidney failure,” he added. He further went on to say hemodialysis basically takes over the function of the kidneys while they recover. The recovery process is unpredictable as people respond differently to different types of medical treatment.

Long term haemodialysis comes with complications such as sepsis, blood clotting, bleeding and vascular failure. Oh well, everything has a consequence in life. If it happens that you are diagnosed with kidney failure, remember #MjojoLivity once gave you alternatives either than death, and remember to ask your treating professional relevant questions so that you are informed before undergoing any treatment.

Article by @GardianNurse, follow us @AuzwekeMag for more #LIT monthly professional advice.